The NYTimes, in a commentary by David Leonhardt today, says bluntly that Donald Trump “is demonstrably unfit for office.” I consider that a vast understatement, but it has become the standard for Republicans in the White House.
You know, on a daily basis, that Trump is more a mob figure than a president, but what about the Republicans who preceded him?
George W. Bush was an intellectual lightweight who was little more than a place setting for a GOP run by Vice President Dick Cheney and a cadre of right-wing, war-mongering holdovers from previous Republican administrations. If you want a short course in Cheney, see the excellent movie “Vice,” which is hard to sit through because it relates a difficult story about our country’s demise. Bush is, appropriately, played as a dim bulb.
Bush’s father was part of the “arms for hostages” deal with Iran and illegal shenanigans in Central America that would have had Ronald Reagan impeached if he’d had another year in office. He committed war crimes (targeting civilian populations with bombs), lied about the invasion of Iraq, was a racist (remember Willie Horton?), and, like Trump, groped women (eight have come forward recently).
Ronald Reagan, not the sharpest pencil in the box by any measure under normal circumstances, had the additional weight of bearing early signs of dementia (Alzheimer’s was fully diagnosed in 1994).
Gerald Ford was appointed president by Richard Nixon so he could pardon Nixon of his many crimes prior to impeachment. Ford was never thought of as more than a lightweight congressman from a distant district. Nixon actually considered appointing former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton, but thought better of it. Holton would have been great for America, awful for Nixon and the GOP.
Richard Nixon was … well, you know what he was.
Each of these men was, I think, “demonstrably unfit for office,” but none of them reached the depths Trump has reached on a daily basis for immorality, corruption, dishonesty, lack of understanding of government (and his office specifically) and concern for anything other than himself.
(Photo: New York Times.)